As a nanny looking for a job, you are likely to need to go on several interviews and meet with new families face-to-face. Therefore, it is extremely important to stay safe when you are setting up and going to a nanny interview and meeting people for the first time. Remember that a nanny interview is different from other job interviews in that you will likely be going to someone's private home rather than a business location. Overall, it is important to keep your safety in mind while still being open to having a positive experience. What follows are safe interviewing tips for a nanny position.
1.) Trust your instincts. If you are going to work as a nanny, then you probably already have pretty good instincts about people in general. So, if you are setting up a nanny interview and something doesn't feel quite right when you are talking to the family on the phone or via email, stop the process right there and look elsewhere for a job. It isn't worth the risk to continue with the situation if you feel like your safety might be compromised, or even if you just don't feel like the position is going to be best for you. There is nothing wrong with cancelling a nanny interview at any point.
2.) Keep people aware of your whereabouts. Always let someone else -- a friend or a family member -- know where you will be and at what time you will be there. Leave information such as the address of the family's home or the location where you will be meeting, the time the nanny interview will be starting, and the time you expect to be finished. Take your cell phone with you, if you have one, and make sure others have the number so they can call you.
3.) Bring someone with you. If you feel uncomfortable going to a first nanny interview alone, take a friend or family member with you. They can wait in the car or, if the family agrees ahead of time, they can come in. Honest families looking for a nanny will appreciate your attention to safety and will likely agree to allow your friend to sit in with you.
4.) Ask for references. You are entitled to ask the prospective family for references before or during your nanny interview. These can be from a previous nanny or from other household help. They could also be professional references from one or both parents' employers. In this case, it is better if you can call the references and speak to them directly rather than just have a conversation through email.
5.) Perform a background check. For a small fee, you can run a background check on one or both parents before your nanny interview. From this you can learn a great deal about the family and you can judge whether they are legitimately looking for a nanny and if they will be a safe family with which to work. You may also want to check the National Registry of Sex Offenders, just for peace of mind.